Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly is known for backing a number of youngsters during his stint as the skipper of Team India. Under Ganguly, India unearthed a number of match-winners like Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and MS Dhoni.
Another Indian wicketkeeper-batsman, Parthiv Patel also made his international debut under the captaincy of Ganguly. During a conversation on Star Sports' Cricket Connected show, Patel opened up on how Ganguly used to back the youngsters in the side. He gave his own example from the 2003-04 Test series in Australia.
“There were many instances, not only one. I played for 2-3 years under Dada’s captaincy. I remember in Australia I had missed a stumping in the Adelaide Test match we won. After that when we reached Melbourne and Sydney, Dada told us that we will have our meals together. When we were having tea in the evening, he used to roam around with a box of Marie biscuits.
“He used to call us in his room in the evening to express his confidence on the players, that he is behind us and we should not worry about anything and would not be dropped from the team,” revealed Patel.
He further recalled an instance where Ganguly infused confidence in the young wicketkeeper-batsman as Patel arrived at the crease during the Brisbane Test.
“When we were playing against the new ball in Brisbane when he had scored a hundred, I was facing Jason Gillespie with the new ball. After every delivery, Dada used to come to me and tell me how I was playing and appreciate my batting,” Parthiv said.
“That makes a lot of difference and that is not only with one player, he has done it consistently with all players,” he added.
Parthiv Patel has represented India in 25 Tests and 38 ODIs so far. He last made an appearance for the side in 2018 during the side's tour of South Africa in January.